Skip to main content

Refine Results


6 Benefits of Signing Your Lease Early at The Ohio State University

By Kylie

When you start looking for a student apartment at The Ohio State University, it may be surprising to learn how early students begin their search. In many cases at OSU, students start their apartment search a year in advance!

At Rambler Columbus, we understand the stress and uncertainty associated with searching for your future home while at college. We have helped hundreds of students through the leasing process and know the ins and outs of the leasing process. 

In this article, we will explain the main benefits of leasing early at Ohio State University, so you can get a head start on signing your lease and moving into your college home! 

Read Next: How Much Does it Cost to Live Near Ohio State?

How early is “early”?

Leasing “early” in Columbus can mean different things to different people- it depends on who you ask. Students involved in Greek life typically sign a lease a semester ahead of moving in, while those looking to live in student apartments will start to sign lease the September before moving in the following August. 

As a student, if you have a clear idea of your desired living situation, there’s no reason to delay your search for off-campus housing. Apartments in the area typically begin leasing about a year in advance.

New developments will make leases available up to 18 months before their delivery date. For example, if the delivery date is deemed to be August 2025, leases will be available to sign in the spring of 2024, probably around February or March. 

In other words, if you’re aiming to live in a new development for your junior year, consider starting your lease search around the spring of your freshman year. Giving yourself as much time as possible when apartment hunting will ease stress and increase your chances of getting to live in your first choice before the most desirable units are taken!

girl in german village walking around the town

6 Benefits of Signing Your Lease Early in Columbus

1. Best Rates 

If you go to Ohio State University, you probably have seen those eye-catching advertisements for student housing apartment complexes. They often use phrases such as, “our lowest rates,” or, “almost sold out for fall, sign your lease now!” While these phrases might seem a bit overused, there’s some truth to them. 

For new developments near OSU, most apartment complexes offer their best rates if you sign a lease early.

Numerous student housing properties use a tiered pricing structure during the leasing process. When leasing first opens, rates will usually be at their lowest, the first tier. Then, as units decrease in availability, rates will typically be raised per month, per person. So, aside from occasional deals or discounts, rates will be lowest when leasing first opens.

Signing your lease early is a great way to save money when leasing in a new student housing development.

Read Next: 8 Ways to Save Money on Off-Campus Housing near OSU

2. Parking

As an OSU student myself, I understand how difficult it can be to park on and around campus. Although there are multiple options to pick from, it still does not make parking on campus an easy task. 

Even if you sign a lease at an apartment complex, you can expect to compete with several other students looking to sign a parking contract for the lease term. Since parking near OSU is limited, you may not get a spot if you end up signing your lease late. 

If you prioritize the convenience and protection of indoor parking at your apartment complex, early lease signing can significantly improve your chances of securing a desirable spot.

3. Choice of Apartment and Room 

The availability of apartments typically decreases as the leasing period progresses. By signing your lease earlier, you’ll have access to a broader selection of units, including those with desirable features like balconies or views.

Many apartment complexes offer limited units with unique amenities or popular views. If these features are important to you, early lease signing can significantly increase your chances of securing one of these units. Remember that these extra features may come with additional costs, so factor them into your budget accordingly.

Also, if you are interested in a floor plan with a popular view, such as one that overlooks downtown, you should consider signing your lease early because these units fill up fast. 

Read Next: 9 Additional Costs to Consider When Looking for Apartments in Columbus, Ohio

Just as with apartment selection, signing your lease early gives you more control over what type of room you want. 

Student housing apartments often offer various floor plans with different features, allowing you and your roommates to choose the one that best fits your needs. For example, in a three-bedroom, three-bathroom apartment (3×3), two of the bedrooms might have windows, while the third one might not.

By signing a lease early, you and your roommates will have more options to choose from and be able to pick the unit and room that suits each of your wants and needs.

Rambler’s fully furnished kitchen and living areas feature stainless steel appliances and quartz countertops, with plenty of natural light.

4. Roommate Choice 

If you sign your lease early, you will have more options when it comes to roommates. As the leasing period progresses, more and more students secure their housing arrangements, narrowing down the pool of potential roommates. 

If you know who you’d like to room with, you will be able to have your choice of roommates added to your unit by the leasing associates at your student housing complex when you sign your lease. Plus, if you have a large group of friends who all want to live close to each other, you will have a better chance of all living on the same floor if you sign early.

Haven’t found the perfect roommates yet? No worries, you still have plenty of time to decide! If you would like to be matched to a roommate with similar preferences, most student housing apartment complexes offer a roommate-matching survey.

If you are planning to sign your lease earlier than your future roommates, make sure to let your leasing associate know so that they don’t assign another person to your room. To avoid this, it’s also recommended to have your future roommates sign their leases at the same time as you. 

All things considered, the earlier you sign your lease, the greater flexibility you have in choosing who you will be living with for the upcoming school year. 

Read Next: How to Find a College Roommate at Ohio State

5. Peace of Mind

College can be stressful, and the last thing you want is for your future living situation to add to these pressures. 

By securing your lease early, you can enjoy peace of mind knowing your accommodation is sorted for the semesters to come. This proactive approach will save you from last-minute scrambling and allow you to focus on the exciting aspects of college life.

Signing your lease early also sparks anticipation and excitement for the upcoming years. You’ll have ample time to familiarize yourself with the amenities and features your apartment offers, making your move-in process smoother and more enjoyable. 

Additionally, early lease signing grants you and your roommates the opportunity to discuss décor and household item purchases, ensuring a harmonious living space that reflects your shared preferences. It’s fun to look forward to and get excited about your future living situation!

6. Block Housing 

If you can’t narrow your friend group down to a few roommates, don’t worry! You can all still live next door or down the hall from one another when you opt for block housing.

Block housing is when you and a group of your friends all sign a block (or group) of units all on the same floor. For instance, if you and 15 of your friends want to live next to each other, you could all lease a “block.” While you wouldn’t all be in the same unit, each of your units would be next to or near each other on the same floor, so you’re never more than a hallway away.

This group can be anyone you choose. Oftentimes the groups consist of fraternity or sorority members, teammates on athletic teams or members of the same clubs and organizations. 

Learn more about block housing in our article, Everything You Need to Know About Block Housing at Rambler. 

girls cheerings at townhall together


Overall, signing your lease earlier rather than later provides many benefits. It is the best way for students to enjoy peace of mind about their living situation while having access to the best rates, top-choice apartments, parking and time to find roommates. 

If you have any questions about Ohio State living or want to learn more about Rambler Columbus, contact our leasing staff, who are more than happy to answer any questions you may have during your student housing search.


Kylie is a Leasing Intern for Rambler Columbus. She is a junior at The Ohio State University, majoring in Finance. Her go-to Daydreamer order is an almond milk latte with vanilla!

May 29, 2024


We invite you to sign up for our monthly newsletter featuring exclusive events, promos and more.